Corporation to spend Rs. 25 lakh for nearly 3,000 workers

Mayor S.M. Velusamy in his customary Budget address on Thursday last said that the Corporation would spend Rs. 25 lakh to help the nearly 3,000 conservancy workers undergo master health check-up. This programme would be in association with a private hospital, to which the money would go.

Finance and Taxation Committee Chairperson R. Prabhakaran, who presented the Budget for 2013-14, said that at the private hospital the workers would undergo ultrasound scan, general medicine test, special heart care, dental check up, dermatological and urological tests.

A couple of paragraphs later, Mr. Prabhakaran said that the Corporation had obtained ISO 9001:2008 standard for six of its 20 urban health posts.

In the 2013-14 Budget he proposed to allocate Rs. 50 lakh towards providing necessary facilities for pregnant women and also equip maternity homes and the posts with ultrasound scanner, operation theatres, facilities to perform family planning operations, vaccination, fever echocardiogram tests and establish integrated counselling and testing centre.

A few months ago, the Corporation invested a similar amount to equip its urban health centres and maternity homes with medical equipment.

Having invested in equipping its health facilities and maternity homes, the Corporation has now chosen to send its conservancy workers to a private hospital. And this dichotomy in approach has invited the question – why cannot the Corporation send its conservancy workers to its health establishments and instead use the money to buy better equipment.

Sources in the Corporation admit in private that there was truth in the question but they had been unsuccessful in the past in convincing the workers to undergo master health check up or tests at the Corporation’s health facilities.

Three months ago with great difficulty the Corporation tried to conduct medical tests for the 2,980 workers. They did not turn up in the expected manner. After the tie-up with a private hospital, the workers would turn, the sources said and added that the response had so far been positive.

The workers would undergo comprehensive medical test and also general and dental check up. If the test results were to throw up something, the workers would then consult the expert concerned. And, if warranted, the conservancy workers would undergo abdominal scan, ultrasound scan, etc.

Sources said that the Corporation’s health establishments also had the scan facilities at 10 of its urban health posts but they did not have dentists, urologists or cardiologists, which the private hospital had.

The sources added that the Rs. 25 lakh earmarked was not an exercise in futility and would really help the workers get a master health check up and return to the hospital for a follow-up treatment.

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